Collecting email addresses and data protection
You can keep a list of any emails that people give you directly.
This becomes your email database of members and is protected by law.
No-one likes to get emails they don’t expect (and it’s against the law to use an email address for a purpose other than the one it was given for) so it is important to protect this membership list from abuse.
Agree that only one person, the membership list organiser, will send notices round the list. One way is to send any notices using the BCC rather than the CC tab. This means other members cannot see each others email addresses.
Always ask people to confirm that they are happy with how you propose to use email and contact details.
Brill used a Google Group
Brill decided to keep the membership list protected in this way, but because so many people wanted to contact each other outside the meeting one of their members also set up a free Google Group which people could join if they wanted. This provided a discussion area and a place for people to post their own notices and queries. There are other free websites which allow you to create a closed (members only) discussion group, including Facebook Groups.
Always check with someone referred to you by another member of the group that they really want to be on your database. Something like this perhaps
A mutual friend, George Clooney, gave me your email as he thought you might be interested in this group (more information about the group)…
Is it OK to include you in my group email list in future?
We look forward to seeing you at one of the meetings.